Are Townhomes the Future of the Canadian Dream?

Oh, the times in the Canadian real estate market are a-changin’. As land available for building coveted detached homes dwindles – along with inventory – builders and buyers are having to look elsewhere; for example, at row housing/townhomes.

The trend is more evident in urban centres, where low inventory and lack of available land is much more pronounced than in smaller municipalities. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the average detached home in the city sold for $898,332 in March 2014.

But when it comes to townhouses, the average selling price for a Toronto unit was $483,639 – a marked difference in affordability. And it’s not just Toronto; Vancouver and Calgary are also feeling the detached housing pinch, as are many larger Canadian cities.

Slowly but surely, prospective buyers are catching on. TREB reported that sales of townhomes had increased by 8.5 percent in March 2014 compared to sales in March 2013.

While many still dream of owning a detached home, there are definite benefits to purchasing a townhome beyond the smaller price tag. A townhouse blends the best of both a detached home and a condo unit: there are often front or back yards to take advantage of, but with a lot less maintenance required.

There’s a sense of community and security that comes from living close to others, but without the feeling of being overwhelmed by living among hundreds of others as you would in an apartment condo. Maintenance fees are often less than a condo, while square footage is higher.